Mar 2, 2023

As Venezuela Utilizes Deepfaked News, Hany Farid Explains How and Why

From The Washington Post

‘Noah’ and ‘Daren’ report good news about Venezuela. They’re deepfakes.

By María Luisa Paúl

Hosts on Venezuelan state-owned television station VTV have been touting positive news coverage about their country from “una agencia gringa” — an American news agency. “This information isn’t coming from VTV, it’s not coming from me … these are numbers from an American news outlet,” one host exclaimed while showing clips of English-speaking anchors reporting favorably on Venezuela hosting baseball’s Caribbean Series and the country’s tourism industry...

The clips are from a YouTube channel called House of News, which presents itself as an English-language media outlet. Researchers say the videos are part of the Venezuelan government’s attempts to spin the narrative on social media, considered one of the last bastions of free speech in a nation where outlets are censored and journalists are often persecuted. The incorporation of AI, experts told The Washington Post, seems to be a new addition to the government’s disinformation campaigns, which range from incentivizing Twitter users to post specific talking points to using bots that spit out the regime’s messaging.

As companies compete to bring the technology forward, the episode in Venezuela is an example of AI’s “dark side,” said Hany Farid, a University of California at Berkeley professor and deepfakes expert...

Read the full article here.

Hany Farid is a professor at the UC Berkeley School of Information and EECS. His research focuses on digital forensics, forensic science, misinformation, image analysis, and human perception.

headshot hany farid
Hany Farid (Photo by Brittany Hosea-Small for the School of Information)

Last updated:

March 14, 2023